Volcanion post UP

Volcanion leaps to the top of the list of decks to consider for Collinsville after the release of Ultra Prism.  Not so much for any particular cards that it gets out of that set – it actually only clearly benefits from one card specifically – but for the fact that Metal will see a significant increase in play.  Because Metal gains so much from UP, clearly the primary deck that counters Metal will see an increase in play as well.

Since it first came out almost a year and a half ago, Volcanion has always been a good deck.  It’s consistent, and it’s not difficult to play.  I remember really enjoying it in September and October of 2016, winning upwards of 80% of the matches I played on PTCGO at one point.  I kept losing to one pesky deck though; I actually looked through my records at the end of October 2016 and realized that since the beginning of September 2016 through October 2016, I had actually lost 16 out of the 17 matches I played against one single deck: Greninja.  Yes, Greninja remains and always will be the thorn in Volcanion’s side.  I’m not going to say that Volcanion can’t beat Greninja 2 out of 3 because we saw it happen in back in September in Hartford, but I’m always very happy when I’m playing Frogs on PTCGO and my opponent turns up a Volcanion as his opening card.

But enough nostalgia, this article is looking forward to Collinsville.  Pokemon to pair with Volcanion:

  • Ho-Oh is probably a no-no.  Same with Turtonator and Entei.  They’re too easy to OHKO and you give up two prizes.  Unless you’re running Alolan Marowak (see below) just go with the Baby Volcs and Steam Artillery, you get more bang for your buck.  Those big basics are just too easy to OHKO.
  • Starmie: maybe?  I haven’t tried to tech in Starmie for a while, I’ll have to give that a shot.
  • Lele: because Brigette doesn’t work well with this deck, you probably only want to run one copy.
  • Marowak … both of them.  Alright so there are technically three Marowaks that are Standard legal, but I think two of them might be worth teching in.  They both evolve from Cubone, so this is not unrealistic.  Alolan Marowak has the potentially powerful energy-less attack Dance of Flames which allows you to attach a Fire energy card from your discard pile to your Pokemon in any way you like for each energy your opponent has in play.  If your opponent has ten energy in play, you can attach ten energy cards from your discard to your Pokemon in any way you want.  All Volc players know that sometimes mid game you can get six or seven energy cards stuck in your discard.  This is a great way to get them back onto the board to get Ho-Ohs and Big Daddy Volcs powered up.  This can also be combined with Dashing Pouch and Energy Reset to put some of those energy into your hand so you can do more damage with Steam Ups.
  • But the other Marowak – the one from Fates Collide – is the card that everyone forgets about.  Its ability, Bodyguard, prevents all effects of attacks done to you or your hand.  I think that the single most devastating attack in the game today is coming out of Ultra Prism, and that attack is Dialga GX’s Timeless GX.  In addition to doing 150 damage – which is just wrong in my opinion, this should be a zero damage attack, there are plenty of other GX attacks that do zero damage, it’s ridiculous that this attack has even a single damage counter attached to it much less 150 – this attack then allows you to skip your opponent’s next turn and you get to go again.  Yes that’s right: you attack (with a Choice Band you KO Lele and a whole host of other Basic GX Pokemon and take two prizes), potentially take your prize or prizes… and then you draw for turn.  You get to play a supporter again, you get to evolve Pokemon again, use once per turn abilities again, and, of course, attack again.  All while your opponent sits there and watches you play solitaire.  This attack is absolutely BROKEN.  In fact, I just looked up the word broken in Webster’s and guess what?  They’ve already got a picture of Dialga GX right there next to the entry in the dictionary.  Seriously, what were they thinking?  Let’s compare this to Chess: in Chess, even a mediocre player (like myself) could beat a Grandmaster every time if I were allowed to take two consecutive turns whenever I wanted to.  Every time I would win, no question, and I’m not that great at Chess, believe me.  Now I know the Pokemon – Chess correlation isn’t always perfectly applicable, but I don’t think there’s any question that you could routinely walk away with minimally two if not three or four prize cards from this melding of two consecutive turns.  Look at it this way: if it’s game one of a three game match in Collinsville, and my opponent plays Timeless GX, there’s a good chance I’m going to just scoop right there because not only do you stand a strong possibility of losing the game, but you could also lose a LOT of time waiting for you opponent to play that second consecutive turn.  Don’t be surprised at Collinsville if you see a large number of scoops when that fifth energy gets attached to Dialga GX.  And yes I know it’s five energy, but with Max Elixir, Magnezone, Wishful Baton, etc. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to get those five energy attached.  After all, prospective decklists are being built for Dusk Mane Necrozma, and that involves a four energy attack that needs three energy attached each turn.  Getting five on Dialga just isn’t going to be that hard.

But Marowak from FAC prevents that – it prevents all effects of attacks, and there is no doubt that this is one heck of an effect.  Even though Metalcrozma is probably still a favorable matchup for Volcanion, Marowak takes away Timeless GX and prevents your opponent from being able to steal a game that you should win.

Trainer cards to use in this deck:

  • Switching cards: as always with Volc, you need to have a lot of item switching cards as well as Guzma too.
  • Pokemon Ranger: I used this the other night when I was playing Volc.  I did 130 to my opponent and he left his Pokemon in the active thinking I would be unable to attack it again.  I played Pokemon Ranger and walked away with an easy victory.
  • Choice Band or Fighting Fury Belt: always a tough decision especially with Field Blower in the format.  I don’t know what to tell you here, I use both and haven’t really studied which is better.  We’ll have to see come Feb 2nd.
  • Field Blower: 4 of.  Do you really want to take the chance of running into Garbodor in Collinsville?  If you think you’ll be able to dodge Garbotoxin for 9 rounds, peace, but I’m betting you’ll see it. Golisodor is at the top of my list right now, I’m 25 W 9 L with it this month.

Energy: as much as you can possibly squeeze into the deck.  15 is not too many.

Volcanion’s a good deck.  You’ll win matches with it at Collinsville and not just because Metal is weak to it. I’m definitely considering it, and I’m sure there’ll be a ton of it there.